When a variant gets pruned, where does it go? Loki Episode 5, thankfully, provides the long-awaited answer to that question in the form of The Void.
Hidden at the very end of time, The Void is the place where the Time Variance Authority sends all the variants and alternate reality artifacts that it prunes. It’s essentially a giant cosmic wastebasket — full of all kinds of variants and alternate reality oddities. You might as well call it the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Island of Misfit Variants.
Featured prominently in The Void is also what, at first glance, appears to be a destroyed version of Avengers Tower. However, a closer look reveals that it's not actually Avengers Tower that can be seen in the background — it’s something else.
Qeng Tower in Loki Episode 5
The final shot of Loki Episode 4’s post-credits scene included what most Marvel fans understandably thought was a crumbling Avengers Tower in the distance behind Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant). As Loki Episode 5 opens by gliding through The Void’s post-apocalyptic skyline, though, we get a closer look at the tower itself. While it boasts the same design and structure as Avengers Tower as well, the name on the outside of it isn’t “Avengers” or “Stark” or even the Avengers “A.”
Instead, the name on the side of the tower is “Qeng Enterprises,” a company that actually bought Avengers Tower from Stark Industries in the comics. It’s also, and this is where things get interesting, is a company owned by a man named Mister Gryphon, who is actually a version of Nathaniel Richards aka Kang the Conqueror.
Loki’s Most Surprising Kang Easter Egg
This isn’t the first time that Loki has dropped a reference to Kang the Conqueror. In fact, it’s not even the only Kang-related Easter egg featured in Loki Episode 5.
The episode also includes an appearance from Alioth, a powerful temporal being who is deeply connected to Kang in the comics. Some Marvel fans also suspect that the mansion/castle seen at the end of Loki Episode 5 could very well be Castle Limbo, the comic book home of Immortus a.k.a. a future version of Kang, but that theory has yet to be confirmed.
Outside of just its fifth installment, Loki has also introduced a handful of characters and organizations with close ties to Kang in the comics, including the TVA and Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). The mere inclusion of the latter character was enough to get fans speculating that Loki will feature a surprise appearance from Ant-Man 3 star Jonathan Majors as Kang, and the series’ latest Kang Easter eggs have only added further fuel to that particular fire.
None of which is to say that the Loki season finale next week will reveal that Kang is the one who has been secretly leading the TVA all along. Kang feels like far too important of a character for Marvel to introduce for the first time in a Disney+ series, which makes it seem more likely than not that the real “villain” in Loki will turn out to be an evil Loki variant (or another character who has already appeared in Loki).
The Inverse Analysis — WandaVision proved that Marvel can make numerous, frankly blatant references to one of its comics villains without ever going ahead and introducing them. In the case of Loki, it is a bit different since fans already know that Kang the Conqueror is coming to the MCU, which makes Loki’s various nods to him feel considerably more substantial. But that doesn’t mean that Kang will show up in the Disney+ series at any point.
It also doesn’t mean that he won’t, and these Easter eggs, at the very least, seem to be part of a deliberate effort on Marvel’s part to set up his eventual introduction in the MCU. Right now, we just have to wait to see when that debut actually happens.
Loki is streaming now on Disney+.